Brooklyn: Abridged

                       (A "Brooklyn" Broadway Abridged Script)
                                                            By Gil Varod


                                   Audience enters, expecting RENT.

                                   Enter EDEN ESPINOSA.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            Hey everybody!  How're you all doing tonight.

            Wait... That's not Maureen!  That's a probably-NOT-gay girl
            dressed like an Irish Tomboy or something!

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            Well, I'm *almost* Maureen.  You see, I was the understudy
            for the part of Elphaba in Wicked, which was the role that
            Idina Menzel won a tony award for, who was the original
            Maureen in the Broadway Cast of Rent!

                                   Audience stares with BLANK EXPRESSIONS.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            Whoa, alas, I'm a poor person living in the streets, and I
            can belt high H.


                                   Audience comfortably relaxes into their
                                   seats, excited to see another musical
                                   about poor people as they clutch onto
                                   their $98.25-a-piece tickets.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            So, I bet it would be a great idea to start this show with a
            bang of a song, but instead let's bring out the ENTIRE CAST
            and just kinda talk for a couple of easily remove-able

                                   Enter four other cast members.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            I said the ENTIRE cast!

                                   Enter Director JEFF CALHOUN.

                                   DIRECTOR JEFF CALHOUN
            Why?  Is somebody missing?  Black girl?

                                   BLACK GIRL

                                   DIRECTOR JEFF CALHOUN
            Latina girl!

                                   LATINA GIRL

                                   DIRECTOR JEFF CALHOUN
            White guy with beard?

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD

                                   DIRECTOR JEFF CALHOUN
            Obligatory African American guy?

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            Right here.

                                   DIRECTOR JEFF CALHOUN
            Yup, five ethnically diverse actors, unable to really fill a
            stage that was intended for thirty, in a musical that looks
            like it probably should've gone to off-Broadway first. 
            Everybody's here.  Let's chat a tad more while un-miked, and
            then begin!

                                   They DO.  

                                   All cast members that are not playing a
                                   role at the moment move around the very
                                   innovative trash-based set pieces to
                                   look like France.

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            So the five of us, we are a performing homeless street troupe
            called "The City Weeds".  What the term "City Weeds" means in
            this play is very symbolic and completely unintelligible, so
            screw it and let's get into the play.  During the course of
            our play, we'll mark down which number scene this is with our
            chalk, God knows why.  So welcome to our FAIRY TALE!
            ONCE UPON A TIME...

                                   They sing a song with vague lyrics and
                                   random references to love and heart, in
                                   a style with obvious desire to get into
                                   pop radio.  This is regardless of the
                                   criticism of the modern pop music scene
                                   that will come throughout the play.

                                   Latina Girl and White Guy get into
                                   costumes made up entirely of garbage. 
                                   This is CLEVER and INNOVATIVE.

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS (CONT'D)
            Once upon a time, there was this Latina Girl and this White
            Guy with a Beard.  And together they loved each other.

                                   LATINA GIRL AND 
                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
            Oh, we love each other, despite being ethnically different! 

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            But let's not delve into their life for more than one three
            minute song, nor actually get a sense of their characters,
            nor their intense love for each other.  Instead, we'll just
            say that the white guy with the beard had to go to Vietnam to
            fight in a war.

                                   MISS SAIGON AND MOVIN' OUT
            Hey!  Didn't we already pummel `Nam to death?

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            And so he went away to war, not to be seen until about twelve
            minutes before the play's done.  And he left behind the
            Latina girl, who was now a mother of a little child.

                                   Enter EDEN ESPINOZA, in pigtails.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            Hey, I'm a little girl!  And while I'm playing a little girl,
            I'm REALLY annoying!  

                                   She IS.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            My name is Brooklyn, named after my father's hometown, and I
            live in France.

                                   NEW YORKERS IN AUDIENCE
            Oh... I thought this is a story about a girl who *grew up* in
            Brooklyn... That's kinda a bummer..

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            So, the Latina girl became the most famous dancer in France,
            or something like that.  You'll just have to take my word for
            it, because apparently it was beyond us to cast the part with
            an actress who was a dancer.  But one day, the loving mother
            that she was:

                                   LATINA GIRL
            I have decided that even though I have a daughter, without
            the love of the White Guy With Beard in my life I absolutely
            cannot live.

            Ugh.  That can't be healthy.

                                   LATINA GIRL
            You'd think that if I'm such a famous dancer, I could just
            move to Brooklyn to go find him.  But alas, I won't.

                                   Cast members move around still
                                   innovative set pieces to look like a
                                   dance stage.

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            And so, on her final dance performance, she did a dance with
            a noose around her neck.

                                   Latina girl puts a noose around her
                                   neck, does absolutely zero dance moves,
                                   and then chokes because of the noose
                                   around her neck.  This death moment is
                                   actually sort of tense...

                                   ...but WHO THE HELL DANCES WITH A NOOSE
                                   AROUND THEIR NECK?!?

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS (CONT'D)
            Young Eden Espinosa grew up as an orphan in the streets,
            singing this unfinished lullaby her father had written her
            mother, which had vague lyrics referencing the words "love"
            and "heart".

                                   Cast members move set around to look
                                   like streets.  Eden lays down on an old
                                   mattress on the ground and begins to

                                   Suddenly, Eden stands up.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            This mattress smells like urine!  Ray!

                                   SET DESIGNER RAY KLAUSEN
            Well, you see, as I keep telling the press in interviews, all
            of the set pieces we use once had a life on the street!

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            Right, but--

                                   SET DESIGNER RAY KLAUSEN
            It adds to the realism, that every single set piece once was
            really used by real live homeless men!

                                   DIRECTOR JEFF CALHOUN
            Plus, with a cast of five and a set made entirely out of
            garbage, this could be the cheapest Broadway show yet!

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            That's all fine, but this is nasty.  It's not that hard to
            buy a NEW mattress and make it old.  I'm going to do the rest
            of this scene on THAT side of the stage.

                                   Latina girl appears, now wearing a set
                                   of angel wings made out of old
                                   newspapers and a halo made out of a
                                   fluorescent circular light bulb. 
                                   Again, this use of garbage is genius.

                                   However it makes an unintended and kind
                                   of screwed-up point that a girl can go
                                   to heaven even if she kills herself to
                                   leave her six year old daughter to live
                                   alone, suffering in the streets.

                                   LATINA GIRL
            Eden, Eden!

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
                          (still annoying because she's
                           still playing a little girl)
            Mom!  Is that you?

                                   LATINA GIRL
            Eden.  You must listen to my plot advance instructions as I
            tell you what you need to do during the rest of this musical.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            What shall I do?

                                   LATINA GIRL
            You must go to the Dagobah system and find Yoda, the Jedi who
            trained me.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA

                                   LATINA GIRL
            I mean... you must venture back to Pride Rock and find your
            uncle Scar, who has taken over the kingdom.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA

                                   LATINA GIRL
            I mean... sorry.  You have to go to Brooklyn to find your

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            But how will I do that?

                                   LATINA GIRL
            You will follow the song in your heart!

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            No, I mean, literally, how will I do that?  I have no money
            or possessions.  I'm totally poor.  
            But that'll actually be really interesting, to see me spend
            the first half of the play trying to figure out how to make
            my way over to Broo--

                                   We cut from here to when she gets to
                                   Brooklyn and is already famous.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            So Brooklyn grew up...

                                   Eden takes out her pigtails and stops
                                   being annoying.

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            Thank God.  Yes, Brooklyn grew up all right.  
                          (shakes his head)
            I mean, not the *borough*, although the town did too, sure it
            flourished across the years, and all the yuppie college
            students moved there when they couldn't afford Manhattan
            housing, although I DON'T mean Brooklyn the borough, I mean
            Brooklyn the person... Oh forget it.

                                   The actors not playing a part at the
                                   moment (in this case, just Latina girl)
                                   move entire set around to look like

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            So in Brooklyn, THE BOROUGH, there was this singer.

                                   Enter BLACK GIRL.

                                   BLACK GIRL
            My name is "Perri-Air-Freshener".  You can call me that
            because I was "born with nothing but an Air Freshener in the
            mirror".  Even though I'm the bad guy, the audience is going
            to really love it when I make my comments about society and
            how I *am* a product of America.  This makes me somewhat
            entertaining when I'm on stage, but doesn't make me very
            hated for a villain.

                                   Black Girl steps into center-stage
                                   spotlight and pointlessly preaches
                                   about political ideals and AK47s and
                                   the state of pop music.

                                   WRITERS MARK SCHOENFELD 
                                   AND BARRI MCPHERSON
            Whee, look at us!  We're making random criticisms of America!

                                   "Perri-Air-Freshener" then tells you
                                   who you should vote for, and then sings
                                   the song "Superlover".

                                   BLACK GIRL
            I'M A SUPERLOVER
            BECAUSE I'M A DIVA,
            AND MORE AS A TRAMP
            WHICH I MAY BE
            BUT ANYWAY

                                   She finishes singing the last verse
                                   with a key change and a huge belting
                                   finish as lights get brighter.

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            And there was apparently only one other singer in all of New
            York, and somehow or another that ended up being... Eden!

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            Wait... we don't get to see like a montage of how I rise to

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            Nope, we skipped that too. 

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            Jesus.  Well if I'm supposed to be a diva star, why am I
            still dressed like a derelict?

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA

                                   Latina girl moves entire set around to
                                   look like Carnegie Hall stage.

                                   EDEN then sings another song with vague
                                   references to "love" and "heart" in a
                                   concert at Carnegie Hall.  This brings
                                   to question whether the type of Diva
                                   she's supposed to be is more like
                                   Celine Dion or Christina Aguilera.  The
                                   line is fudged even more because while
                                   Eden is wholesome and therefore more
                                   Celine Dion-like, she apparently has a
                                   popularity and tabloid appeal that is
                                   MTV Christina-Aguilera-like, except for
                                   that she's played entirely devoid of
                                   sex appeal like such pop stars always
                                   bank upon.

                                   WRITERS MARK SCHOENFELD 
                                   AND BARRI MCPHERSON
            Whoa... pop stars and sex appeal... there's some social
            commentary that we totally missed out on.

                                   EDEN ends her number with a key change
                                   and a belting voice that can break the
                                   roof, as lights get brighter.


                                   ABSURDLY CHOSEN 
                                   PRESENTER JIMMY FALLON
            And the award for hoarsest voices from belting eight times a
            week goes to... The cast of Brooklyn!


                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            Now Eden, you and... Dammit, what's your stupid name?

                                   BLACK GIRL

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            Right now, you and "Perri-Air-Freshener" 
            are going to argue over who's the better Diva.

                                   BLACK GIRL
            I'm a better singer, I have Brooklyn in my blood more than
            you do!  I grew up here!

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            I have it more than you do!  No, I didn't grow up here, and I
            only lived here for like a month, but my *name* is Brooklyn!

                                   A weird crack at Abe Vigoda, and then
                                   for some reason, the audience is set to
                                   side with Eden having more Brooklyn in
                                   the blood.

                                   Whatever that's supposed to mean.  In
                                   the meanwhile, the rest of the cast
                                   play connect the dots with spray paint
                                   so that by the end, they've written the
                                   word "BKLYN".

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
            Connect the dots is fun!  I wonder whose job it is to clean
            the spraypaint off of this thing night after night.

                                   LATINA GIRL
            Shut up.

                                   BLACK GIRL
                          (to Eden)
            So if you think you're a better singer than I, prove it.  At
            the end of the play, in an obligatory second-to-last showdown
            scene, let's have a duel out at Madison Square Garden!

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            Now, instead of breaking for an intermission at this peak
            high-tension point in the middle of the play, we're going to
            go on INTERMISSIONLESS!

                                   SEATS IN THE 
                                   PLYMOUTH THEATRE
            WE, ARE,
            WE, ARE,

            Shut up.

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            So meanwhile all through this, she was still looking for her
            father.  Now I haven't sung since the opening song, so I'm
            going to play the "MAGIC MAN", a homeless guy!

                                   Instead of waiting until after his
                                   character and EDEN meet, Cleavant *now*
                                   sings the song MAGIC MAN, which is
                                   supposed to introduce his character. 
                                   It stops the plot cold for six or seven
                                   minutes so that we can hear more
                                   generic universal truths about heart
                                   and love.

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            And as the MAGIC MAN, I'm standing on the streets when Eden
            comes along.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            Hey... I know you!

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            Why, because you recognize me as the MAGIC MAN who will
            further tell you what your character should do next?

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            No, you were like totally in Sliders!  I loved that show.

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            ...anyway, I know my intro song was like seven minutes.  So
            now, for an entire minute max, I'm here to tell you that you
            need to go FIND YOUR FATHER!  Good thing my character came to
            reiterate that.  And now, I disappear.

                                   He DOES.

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            So she went off to Brooklyn to find her father, and heard a
            guy singing the unfinished lullaby.

                                   Latina girl moves entire set around to
                                   look like a slum.  Enter room with guy
                                   who is doing heroin.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            Are you my father?

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
            No, I just knew him, but I'm not him.  Interestingly enough,
            the audience can't tell whether I'm lying or not because,
            since we all have been playing multiple parts, who knows if
            I'm playing the same character or a different one.  This is
            actually a really clever device.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            Ah, you're not my father.

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
            His name was Taylor.  Now if you excuse me, I'm going to take
            some heroin.

                                   He DOES.  It is gratuitous, but
                                   somewhat artistic.

                                   Eden walks center stage into a
                                   spotlight and sings about having not
                                   found her father.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            I NEVER KNEW HIS NAME...
                          (key change, belts, lights get
            I NEVER KNEW HIS... NAME!!!!

                                   Eden walks back to White Guy With

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
            Yeah?  Oh... crap.  
            That was goofy.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            It is you!  You're my Dad!

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
            No, go away!  Even though we keep saying during the musical
            what sort of a love I had for your mother, I definitely
            wouldn't be able to have any sort of love for my one and only
                          (to audience)
            See?  That's what DRUGS do to you!  And WAR!  ESPECIALLY

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            Yes, DRUGS are BAD!
                          (to White Guy)
            I want to know what happened to you, but since you won't tell
            me I will look into your eyes to find out.

                                   She DOES.  Suddenly, just because she
                                   looked into his eyes, she can see
                                   everything that happens in the
                                   following gratuitous but very-necessary
                                   to-the-plot FLASHBACK.  The grim
                                   contents of this flashback totally
                                   marrs the "fairy tale" notion of the

                                   Latina Girl moves set around to become
                                   like Vietnam War.

                                   LATINA GIRL
            I'm TIRED of just moving the set around!  I haven't had a
            line since the first ten minutes of the play!

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
            Yeah, that's why you have to be the one who moves most of the
            set around.  The rest of us are playing "roles".
                          (to EDEN)
            So I tried writing to your mother, but she never got the

                                   We see a quick scene where the mother
                                   gets thrown out of her parent's house
                                   for being pregnant.

                                   THE SCENE WHERE THE MOTHER
                                   GOT KICKED OUT
            Boy, I wish I had been shown much earlier in the play!

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
            See?  She got kicked out of her house and I never knew!  And
            so I lost contact with her, even though she could have very
            well written me a letter to let me know she wasn't living at
            home anymore if she apparently loved me so much.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            Wait, how does a flashback of yours show me things you don't

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
            How is it you learn, from just looking into my eyes but
            without me actually telling it to you, everything we have yet
            to talk about throughout the musical so far?

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
            And so I was in war, and trying to finish the unfinished
            lullaby when an explosion hit.

                                   Explosion sounds.

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
                          (to mimed dead body)
            Buddy!  Please, don't die on me!

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
                          (deadpan delivery)

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
                          (to another body)
            No!  Not you too!

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
                          (another body)
            No!  And you can't also die on me!

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS

                                   Audience begins clapping.

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS

                                   Audience clapping grows louder to a

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            Dead.  Dead, dead, dead dead DEAD!

                                   Standing ovation.

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
            What the hell is that for?

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            I have the most fantastic deadpan delivery of "dead", you


                                   PRESENTER JUDE LAW
            And the most fantastic deadpan delivery of the word "dead"
            goes to... that guy from "Sliders"!

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            Why, thank you, thank you!  I just want to thank everybody
            else who was in "Sliders", especially that one Professor guy
            from Indiana Jones who ended up being the Dwarf in Lord of
            the Rings--
                          (looks at Jude Law)
            Hey, how the hell are you in the movies "Sky Captain and the
            World of Tomorrow", "I Heart Huckabees" and "Alfie" which are
            all out at the same time?

                                   PRESENTER JUDE LAW
            One might also ask why the hell I'm presenting at the Tonys.

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            Ah.  One might, m'boy.  Now if you excuse me, I have to
                          (disappears through wormhole)


                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            Now that I've looked into your eyes, I see so many plot holes
            filled in!  So when I go to Madison Square Garden, I want you
            to come onstage with me!

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
            Uh... That's sorta weird and nonsensical that you want me
            onstage, but sure, okay.  I guess you're a whore for human
            interest stories that the tabloid will do about you.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            Good, you can teach me the rest of the unfinished lullaby.

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
            I actually still haven't finished it.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            What?  You had like twenty five years!

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
            Oh, deal.

                                   Latina girl moves set some more to put
                                   us Backstage in Madison Square Garden,
                                   and then walks off to demand a
                                   stagehand salary to double on top of
                                   the actor's salary she gets.

                                   BLACK GIRL
            Here you go, white guy with beard.  Forget about going up
            onstage; why not just take this cocaine from me instead?

                                   WHITE GUY WITH BEARD
            No, "Perri-Air-Freshener", you're misunderstanding, in the
            other scene my drug of choice is heroin.

                                   BLACK GIRL

                                   He does anyway, making the underlying
                                   message that DRUGS ARE BAD.

                                   Except maybe Marijuana.  They don't
                                   refer to Marijuana in this musical, so
                                   maybe Marijuana's actually okay. 

                                   Seriously, there's no way the Sliders
                                   guy hasn't tried Pot.

                                   BLACK GIRL
                          (steps into center spotlight)
            Boy, I'm a real asshole for giving her father drugs so that
            he won't go onstage, but inside, I have a real heart.

                                   She sings a song about how deep inside
                                   she has a real heart.  This is
                                   purposeless because after the song is
                                   done, she goes back to being an asshole

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            And so, they both sang in Madison Square Garden.

                                   First, enter Black Girl in a really
                                   awesome and hilarious gown made up
                                   entirely of caution tape and a
                                   headdress made of Fritos bags.

                                   COSTUME DESIGNER TOBIN OST
            Hah, I'm totally getting a boatload of jobs after this

                                   Black Girl sings a song.  It ends with
                                   a key change and a huge belting as
                                   lights get brighter.  Sounding a lot
                                   like the previous dozen songs, it's
                                   really not all that memorable.

                                   Enter Eden Espinoza.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            Hi, I'm here, and here's my father!

                                   Father doesn't come out.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            Oh no, the drug user father didn't come through winningly at
            the final moment!

                                   The show pats itself on the back for
                                   not being cliche.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
            But wait, it's the homeless guy from Sliders!  A character
            that would have been better off if he was actually in my
            character's head!

                                   Cleavant Derricks comes out as the
                                   "Magic Man" from earlier in, and (God
                                   knows why) Eden sings with him onstage
                                   in Madison Square Garden.  They both
                                   sing, then belt really loud and lose
                                   their voices after having done this
                                   eight times a week.

                                   BLACK GIRL
            I, Perri-Air-Freshener, have won the contest!

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
                          (hoarse voice)

                                   BLACK GIRL
            Because I'm the only one here who hasn't lost my vo--
                          (her voice goes hoarse)
            oice yet.... oh crap, there it goes.  Ftttt....

                                   Obligatorily, Eden and the White Guy
                                   with Beard make up, making the audience
                                   happy and enjoying of this fairy tale.

                                   CLEAVANT DERRICKS
            See?  Fairy tales are wonderful.

                                   Cleavant Derricks then imparts some end
                                   of-play information that makes this
                                   entire fairy tale a lot less optimistic
                                   and hopeful, and confuses the show's
                                   notion of whether fairy tales can come
                                   true or are unrealistic.

                                   The five-person, hoarse-voiced cast
                                   does their curtain call.  Then, the
                                   seventy piece orchestra comes out.

                                   EDEN ESPINOSA
                          (looking at huge Orchestra)
            What the hell?  No wonder I have to sing so loud!

                                   Cast leaves to drink some hot CHAMOMILE
                                   and take some GINSENG.


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